Top tech trends for 2013 Part 2By Staff Writer 11 January 2013 | Categories: feature articles
In part two of Tech Trends for 2013 (read part one here), we look at the things we want more of in 2013, and look at how we fared with our predictions for 2012.
What we want in 2013
Major improvement on Windows 8
We haven't had the most pleasant experience with Windows 8 here in the TechSmart office. While we won't go as far as to call it half-baked (well, sometimes), there's certainly much room for improvement.
So please Microsoft, reconsider your position on the Start menu; give us an intuitive touch keyboard; make it easier to touch control items in desktop mode; don't throw a full screen at us when selecting a Charms Bar option; etc...
Cheaper associated ADSL costs
We're all for cheaper internet costs, and while the price of broadband has come down drastically, the cost associated with renting your line and services from Telkom hasn't improved much. R130 pm to rent a telephone line, plus a further cost involved in the monthly rental of the DSL service (before you pay your ISP) make fast internet still a luxury for most.
A Netflix-like service for SA
DStv's BoxOffice service has been a hit, and for R30, renting the latest movies has never been easier. But, we don't always want to watch blockbusters, and while the introduction of the iTunes Store in SA is a welcome addition, R40 to stream a movie is expensive.
We can only hope to see a streaming service such as Netflix becoming available, asking a fixed monthly fee (hopefully decently priced) to stream as many movies as you want.
iPad mini with Retina Display, greater capacity iPads
Admittedly, the 7.9" iPad mini captured a fair share of our attention in the office last year, but the non-Retina display is already looking long in the tooth, especially next to the fourth generation iPad and even the third gen version.
A mini with the same luscious display, and of course battery life, would make it that much easier to take the plunge. Also, it really is time for the iPad to move beyond the silly 64 GB limit.
Great games and deals on the PS Vita
We have been valiantly defending Sony's portable, the PS Vita for some time now, but this year, the excellent hardware really needs a good shot in the arm on the software side.
PlayStation Plus last year – and some great free titles for PS Plus members – was a step in the right direction; now the console is practically begging for a bigger games library, and titles which are not only alluring, but are also made available at a competitive price.
Bluetooth audio streaming in cars
It's 2013, so why are more cars not able to stream music or calls from your phone to the infotainment system? Luckily, more car manufacturers are picking up on this idea, including Ford who introduced its voice-enabled Sync system to local buyers within the Focus during 2012.
The Blue Oval will now also bring this system to nearly all of its passenger cars this year starting with the all-new Fiesta in Q1 2013.
Our predictions for 2012: How we fared
The rise of the ultrabook
The majority of notebooks we reviewed in 2012 were ultrabooks, but sales were slower than expected, mainly due to price and the wait for Windows 8. Still, at the end of last year, ABI Research indicated that 21 million units shipped during 2012.
Bigger screen sizes
We might not have ended the year with 5" screens on the latest smartphones, but with the 4.8" Samsung S3 and 4.7" HTC One X, it certainly came close. Oh wait, then there's the iPhone 5…
Near Field Communication (NFC) payments
While we saw more phones coming equipped with NFC this year (with Sony's SmartTags actually providing nice use for it), NFC payment methods are still few and far between. The fact that the new iPhone doesn't include a NFC chip further led Juniper Research to scale back predictions on future point-of-sale roll-outs.
Read part one of this article here.
Article first appeared in TechSmart 112, January 2013. Read or download it here.
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